The Fuerstenzug, located on the outside wall of the Residence Palace in Dresden, depicts the rulers of Saxony over 1,000 years. It is the largest (and longest) porcelain picture in the world, composed of ca. 25,000 porcelain tiles (only the concluding section is shown here). The dimensions are 102 m by 9.5 m (957 sq m).
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As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating world wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key western economic and security organizations, the EC (now the EU) and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German reunification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark

Geographic coordinates

51 00 N, 9 00 E


total: 357,022 sq km

land: 348,672 sq km

water: 8,350 sq km

country comparison to the world: 69

Area - comparative

three times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Montana

<p>three times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Montana</p>

Land boundaries

total: 3,694 km

border countries (9): Austria 801 km; Belgium 133 km; Czechia 704 km; Denmark 140 km; France 418 km; Luxembourg 128 km; Netherlands 575 km; Poland 447 km; Switzerland 348 km


2,389 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind


lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south


highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m

lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.5 m

mean elevation: 263 m

Natural resources

coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 48% (2018 est.)

arable land: 34.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 31.8% (2018 est.)

other: 20.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

6,500 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Constance (shared with Switzerland and Austria) - 540 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Stettiner Haff/Zalew Szczecinski (shared with Poland) - 900 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Danube river source (shared with Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania [m]) - 2,888 km; Elbe river mouth (shared with Czechia [s]) - 1,252 km; Rhine  (shared with Switzerland [s], France, and Netherlands [m]) - 1,233 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Rhine-Maas (198,735 sq km), (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

Population distribution

most populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia

Geography - note

strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea; most major rivers in Germany - the Rhine, Weser, Oder, Elbe - flow northward; the Danube, which originates in the Black Forest, flows eastward

Map description

Germany showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries and the North and Baltic Seas.

People and Society


noun: German(s)

adjective: German

Ethnic groups

German 86.3%, Turkish 1.8%, Polish 1%, Syrian 1%, Romanian 1%, other/stateless/unspecified 8.9% (2020 est.)

note:  data represent population by nationality


German (official); note - Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romani are official minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

major-language sample(s):
Das World Factbook, die unverzichtbare Quelle für grundlegende Informationen. (German)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

German audio sample:


Roman Catholic 26.7%, Protestant 24.3%, Muslim 3.5%, other 4.8%, none 40.7% (2020 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 12.89% (male 5,302,850/female 5,025,863)

15-24 years: 9.81% (male 4,012,412/female 3,854,471)

25-54 years: 38.58% (male 15,553,328/female 15,370,417)

55-64 years: 15.74% (male 6,297,886/female 6,316,024)

65 years and over: 22.99% (2020 est.) (male 8,148,873/female 10,277,538)

This is the population pyramid for Germany. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.4

youth dependency ratio: 21.7

elderly dependency ratio: 33.7

potential support ratio: 3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 47.8 years

male: 46.5 years

female: 49.1 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Birth rate

9.08 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 201

Death rate

11.98 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Net migration rate

1.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Population distribution

most populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia


urban population: 77.6% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.13% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.571 million BERLIN (capital), 1.788 million Hamburg, 1.566 million Munich, 1.137 million Cologne, 791,000 Frankfurt (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

29.9 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

7 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.19 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.56 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 208

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 81.51 years

male: 79.15 years

female: 84 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 38

Contraceptive prevalence rate

67% (2018)

note: percent of women aged 18-49

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

4.44 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

8 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

93,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children

country comparison to the world: 46

HIV/AIDS - deaths

(2020 est.) <500

note: estimate does not include children

Tobacco use

total: 22% (2020 est.)

male: 24.1% (2020 est.)

female: 19.9% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 17 years

male: 17 years

female: 17 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.2%

male: 7.9%

female: 6.4% (2020 est.)


Environment - current issues

emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government established a mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power by 2022; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 11.71 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 727.97 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 49.92 megatons (2020 est.)


temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind

Land use

agricultural land: 48% (2018 est.)

arable land: 34.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.3% (2018 est.)

forest: 31.8% (2018 est.)

other: 20.2% (2018 est.)


urban population: 77.6% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.13% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 51.046 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 24,415,302 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 47.8% (2015 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Constance (shared with Switzerland and Austria) - 540 sq km

Salt water lake(s): Stettiner Haff/Zalew Szczecinski (shared with Poland) - 900 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Danube river source (shared with Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania [m]) - 2,888 km; Elbe river mouth (shared with Czechia [s]) - 1,252 km; Rhine  (shared with Switzerland [s], France, and Netherlands [m]) - 1,233 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Rhine-Maas (198,735 sq km), (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 4.388 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 19.75 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 299.7 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

154 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany

conventional short form: Germany

local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland

local short form: Deutschland

former: German Reich

etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as "Germani," a term the Romans adopted as "Germania"; the native designation "Deutsch" comes from the Old High German "diutisc" meaning "of the people"

Government type

federal parliamentary republic


name: Berlin

geographic coordinates: 52 31 N, 13 24 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: the origin of the name is unclear but may be related to the old West Slavic (Polabian) word "berl" or "birl," meaning "swamp"

Administrative divisions

16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Bremen calls itself a Free Hanseatic City (Freie Hansestadt) and Hamburg considers itself a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)


18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)

National holiday

German Unity Day, 3 October (1990)


history: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10-23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2020; note - in early 2021, the German federal government introduced a bill to incorporate children’s rights into the constitution

Legal system

civil law system

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 years

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from government

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years


18 years of age; universal; age 16 for some state and municipal elections

Executive branch

chief of state: President Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017)

head of government: Chancellor Olaf SCHOLZ (since 8 December 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by a Federal Convention consisting of all members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and an equivalent number of delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; president serves a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 13 February 2022 (next to be held in February 2027); following the most recent Federal Parliament election, the party or coalition with the most representatives usually elects the chancellor who is appointed by the president to serve a renewable 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 8 December 2021 (next to be held after the Bundestag election in 2025)

election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER reelected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 1,045, Max OTTE 140, Gerhard TRABERT (The Left) 96, Stefanie GEBAUER (Free Voters) 58, abstentions 86; Olaf SCHOLZ (SPD) elected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 395 to 303

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of:
Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats statutory, 71 current; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments)
Federal Diet or Bundestag (736 seats statutory, 736 for the 2021-25 term - total seats can vary each electoral term; currently includes 4 seats for independent members; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members' terms depend upon the states they represent)

Bundesrat - none; determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
Bundestag - last held on 26 September 2021 (next to be held in September 2025 at the latest); almost all postwar German governments have been coalitions

election results:
Bundesrat - composition - men 46, women 23, percent of women 33.3%
Bundestag - percent of vote by party - SPD 25.7%, CDU/CSU 24.1%, Alliance '90/Greens 14.8%, FDP 11.5%, AfD 10.3%, The Left 4.9%, other 8.7%; seats by party - SPD 206, CDU/CSU 196, Alliance '90/Greens 118, FDP 92, AfD 83, The Left 39, other 1; composition - men 479, women 257, percent of women 34.9%; note - total Parliament percent of women 34.8%

note - due to Germany's recognition of the concepts of "overhang" (when a party's share of the nationwide votes would entitle it to fewer seats than the number of individual constituency seats won in an election under Germany's mixed member proportional system) and "leveling" (whereby additional seats are elected to supplement the members directly elected by each constituency in order to ensure that each party's share of the total seats is roughly proportional to the party's overall shares of votes at the national level), the 20th Bundestag is the largest to date

Judicial branch

highest courts: Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges, including the court president, vice presidents, presiding judges, other judges and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels); Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)

judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated states and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68

subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 federated states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts; two English-speaking commercial courts opened in late 2020 in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg - English-speaking Stuttgart Commercial Court and English-speaking Mannheim Commercial Court

Political parties and leaders

Alliance '90/Greens [Annalena BAERBOCK and Robert HABECK]
Alternative for Germany or AfD [Alexander GAULAND - Honorary Chairman, Joerg MEUTHEN and Tino CHRUPALLA]
Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Armin LASCHET]
Christian Social Union or CSU [Markus SOEDER]
Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]
Free Voters [Hubert AIWANGER]
The Left or Die Linke [Janine WISSLER]
Social Democratic Party or SPD [Saskia ESKEN and Norbert WALTER-BORJANS]

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSOM, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Emily Margarethe HABER (since 22 June 2018)

chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000

FAX: [1] (202) 298-4261

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Amy GUTMANN (since 17 February 2022)

embassy: Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin

Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlin (administrative services)

mailing address: 5090 Berlin Place, Washington DC  20521-5090

telephone: [49] (30) 8305-0

FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold field

National symbol(s)

eagle; national colors: black, red, yellow

National anthem

name: "Das Lied der Deutschen" (Song of the Germans)

lyrics/music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDN

note: adopted 1922; the anthem, also known as "Deutschlandlied" (Song of Germany), was originally adopted for its connection to the March 1848 liberal revolution; following appropriation by the Nazis of the first verse, specifically the phrase, "Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles" (Germany, Germany above all) to promote nationalism, it was banned after 1945; in 1952, its third verse was adopted by West Germany as its national anthem; in 1990, it became the national anthem for the reunited Germany

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 51 (48 cultural, 3 natural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin (c); Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin (c); Speyer Cathedral (c); Upper Middle Rhine Valley (c); Aachen Cathedral (c); Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau, and Bernau (c); Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura (c); Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar, and Upper Harz Water Management System (c); Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter, and Church of Our Lady in Trier (c); Hanseatic City of Lübeck (c); Old Town of Regensburg (c)


Economic overview

The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment. Germany benefits from a highly skilled labor force, but, like its Western European neighbors, faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.


Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong economic growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II. The German Government introduced a minimum wage in 2015 that increased to $9.79 (8.84 euros) in January 2017.


Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's total budget deficit - including federal, state, and municipal - to 4.1% in 2010, but slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011 and in 2017 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.7%. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012.


Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany plans to replace nuclear power largely with renewable energy, which accounted for 29.5% of gross electricity consumption in 2016, up from 9% in 2000. Before the shutdown of the eight reactors, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production.


The German economy suffers from low levels of investment, and a government plan to invest 15 billion euros during 2016-18, largely in infrastructure, is intended to spur needed private investment. Domestic consumption, investment, and exports are likely to drive German GDP growth in 2018, and the country’s budget and trade surpluses are likely to remain high.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$4,238,800,000,000 (2020 est.)

$4,457,050,000,000 (2019 est.)

$4,432,430,000,000 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 5

Real GDP growth rate

0.59% (2019 est.)

1.3% (2018 est.)

2.91% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Real GDP per capita

$50,900 (2020 est.)

$53,600 (2019 est.)

$53,500 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 26

GDP (official exchange rate)

$3,860,923,000,000 (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.4% (2019 est.)

1.7% (2018 est.)

1.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 84

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (1994)

Moody's rating: Aaa (1986)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (1983)

Credit ratings prior to 1989 refer to West Germany.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 30.7% (2017 est.)

services: 68.6% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 53.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 20.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -0.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 47.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -39.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, sugar beet, wheat, barley, potatoes, pork, maize, rye, rapeseed, triticale


among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 1.4%

industry: 24.2%

services: 74.3% (2016)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.2%

male: 7.9%

female: 6.4% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 24% (2000)


revenues: 1.665 trillion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 1.619 trillion (2017 est.)

Public debt

63.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

67.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; the series are presented as a percentage of GDP and in millions of euros; GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product at current market prices; data expressed in national currency are converted into euro using end-of-year exchange rates provided by the European Central Bank

country comparison to the world: 62

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$280.238 billion (2019 est.)

$297.434 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 1


$1,671,650,000,000 (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$1,813,190,000,000 (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$1,881,510,000,000 (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 3

Exports - partners

United States 9%, France 8%, China 7%, Netherlands 6%, United Kingdom 6%, Italy 5%, Poland 5%, Austria 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, aircraft, medical cultures/vaccines, industrial machinery (2019)


$1,452,560,000,000 (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$1,593,720,000,000 (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$1,635,580,000,000 (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 3

Imports - partners

Netherlands 9%, China 8%, France 7%, Belgium 6%, Poland 6%, Italy 6%, Czechia 5%, United States 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, crude petroleum, refined petroleum, medical cultures/vaccines (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$200.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

Debt - external

$5,671,463,000,000 (2019 est.)

$5,751,408,000,000 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.82771 (2020 est.)

0.90338 (2019 est.)

0.87789 (2018 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 38.3 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 46 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 107.4 million (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 128 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: with one of Europe’s largest telecom markets, Germany hosts a number of significant networks which offer effective competition in the mobile and broadband sectors; Telekom Deutschland remains the dominant provider in the fixed-line segment, though there is increasing competition from networks including freenet, Vodafone Germany, and Telefónica Germany, each of which is making use of regulatory measures aimed at facilitating wholesale network access to provide fiber-based broadband services; the German mobile market is driven by mobile data, with the number of mobile broadband subscribers having increased rapidly in recent years; with LTE now universally available, progress has recently been made in building out 5G networks; Telekom’s 5G service provided about 80% population coverage by March 2021; this was expected to be increased to 90% coverage by the end of the year (2021)

domestic: extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries; approximately 46 per 100 for fixed-line and 128 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2020)

international: country code - 49; landing points for SeaMeWe-3, TAT-14, AC-1, CONTACT-3, Fehmarn Balt, C-Lion1, GC1, GlobalConnect-KPN, and Germany-Denmark 2 & 3 - submarine cables to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia; as well as earth stations in the Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

a mixture of publicly operated and privately owned TV and radio stations; 70 national and regional public broadcasters compete with nearly 400 privately owned national and regional TV stations; more than 90% of households have cable or satellite TV; hundreds of radio stations including multiple national radio networks, regional radio networks, and a large number of local radio stations

Internet users

total: 74,844,784 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 90% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 36,215,303 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 43 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 20 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1,113

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 109,796,202 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 7,969,860,000 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 318

over 3,047 m: 14

2,438 to 3,047 m: 49

1,524 to 2,437 m: 60

914 to 1,523 m: 70

under 914 m: 125 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 221

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 35

under 914 m: 185 (2021)


23 (2021)


37 km condensate, 26985 km gas, 2400 km oil, 4479 km refined products, 8 km water (2013)


total: 33,590 km (2017)

standard gauge: 33,331 km (2015) 1.435-m gauge (19,973 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (79 km electrified)

15 km 0.900-m gauge, 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2015)

country comparison to the world: 7


total: 625,000 km (2017)

paved: 625,000 km (2017) (includes 12,996 km of expressways)

note: includes local roads

country comparison to the world: 13


7,467 km (2012) (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea)

country comparison to the world: 19

Merchant marine

total: 599

by type: container ship 77, general cargo 85, oil tanker 36, other 401 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 38

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s):
Baltic Sea: Kiel, Rostock
North Sea: Bremerhaven, Brunsbuttel, Emden, Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven

oil terminal(s): Brunsbuttel Canal terminals

container port(s) (TEUs): Bremen/Bremerhaven (4,856,900), Hamburg (9,274,215) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Hamburg

river port(s): Bremen (Weser); Bremerhaven (Geeste); Duisburg, Karlsruhe, Neuss-Dusseldorf (Rhine); Lubeck (Wakenitz); Brunsbuttel, Hamburg (Elbe)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe, includes air defense), Joint Support Service (Streitkraeftebasis, SKB), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst, ZSanDstBw), Cyber and Information Space Command (Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum, Kdo CIR) (2022)

Military expenditures

1.5% of GDP (2021 est.)

1.5% of GDP (2020)

1.4% of GDP (2019) (approximately $60.1 billion)

1.3% of GDP (2018) (approximately $55.4 billion)

1.2% of GDP (2017) (approximately $53.5 billion)

country comparison to the world: 91

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 184,000 active duty personnel (63,000 Army; 16,000 Navy; 27,500 Air Force; 27,000 Joint Support Service; 20,000 Medical Service, 14,500 Cyber and Information Space Command; 15,000 other) (2022)

note - Germany in 2020 announced it planned to increase the size of the military to about 200,000 troops by 2025

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the German Federal Armed Forces inventory is mostly comprised of weapons systems produced domestically or jointly with other European countries and Western imports, particularly from the US; since 2010, the US is the leading foreign supplier; Germany's defense industry is capable of manufacturing the full spectrum of air, land, and naval military weapons systems, and is one of the world's leading arms exporters (2021)

Military service age and obligation

17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (must have completed compulsory full-time education and have German citizenship); conscription ended July 2011; service obligation 7-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2022)

note - in 2021, women accounted for about 12% of the German military

Military deployments

up to 500 Iraq (NATO/Counter-ISIS campaign); 550 Lithuania (NATO); up to 1,400 Mali (MINUSMA/EUTM) (2022)

note(s) - Germany is a contributing member of the EuroCorps; NATO troop deployment numbers in eastern Europe are as of February 2022; in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, some NATO countries, including Germany, have sent additional troops and equipment to the battlegroups deployed in NATO territory in eastern Europe

Military - note

the Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO in May 1955; with the reunification of Germany in October 1990, the states of the former German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany in its membership of NATO

the German Army has incorporated a joint Franco-German mechanized infantry brigade since 1989, a Dutch airmobile infantry brigade since 2014, and a Dutch mechanized infantry brigade since 2016; in addition, the German Navy’s Sea Battalion (includes marine infantry, naval divers, reconnaissance, and security forces) has worked closely with the Dutch Marine Corps since 2016, including as a binational amphibious landing group (2022)


Terrorist group(s)

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 616,325 (Syria), 152,677 (Afghanistan), 147,400 (Iraq), 62,152 (Eritrea), 45,704 (Iran), 34,465 (Turkey), 29,137 (Somalia), 9,329 (Russia), 9,323 (Nigeria), 8,600 (Pakistan), 7,503 (Serbia and Kosovo), 6,057 (Ethiopia) (mid-year 2021); 780,000 (Ukraine) (as of 16 June 2022)

stateless persons: 26,980 (mid-year 2021)

Illicit drugs

maritime transshipment point for cocaine heading to Europe